Pogba 'confused' at Manchester United – Neville

The Frenchman turned in another disappointing performance as the Red Devils suffered a heavy weekend defeat at Stamford Bridge

Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville says Paul Pogba looks confused at the club but insists manager Jose Mourinho is the right man to return the glory days back to Old Trafford, despite Sunday’s drubbing at Chelsea.

All eyes were on Mourinho for his return to Stamford Bridge but there was nowhere for the ex-Chelsea boss to hide as United suffered a humiliating 4-0 defeat in the Premier League.

Neville has pointed to the midfield as a particularly problematic area of United, with Pogba struggling to justify his transfer fee.

Four things Mourinho must do to fix Man Utd

“Pogba is no doubt confused,” the former defender told Sky Sports .

“He has been signed for such a huge fee and I look at him and it was a difficult day for him. It was difficult for him at times at Anfield as a No.10 so, at the moment, I think Jose Mourinho is trying to find a way to incorporate him and when you sign a player for that level of money, you somehow have to make it fit.”

Determined to prove a point to his former employer after being sacked in December last year, Mourinho was left stunned after Pedro opened the scoring inside just 30 seconds.

Some more poor defending saw Gary Cahill double Chelsea’s lead in the 21st minute before Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante completed the rout in the second period.

Why did Mourinho get angry with Conte?

The defeat, United’s third of the season, left Mourinho’s side six points off the pace in seventh position, however, Neville has urged calm as the Portuguese tactician continues to rebuild the team.

“There will be a massive over-reaction to the game, Jose Mourinho will come under huge pressure and it will be ramped up ahead of the derby on Wednesday. I am quite relaxed,” Neville.

“When you are a Manchester United fan for 30 years, for 50 years, you are going to have difficult times like these and you have to accept when they come along and be mature about it.

“They have got a fantastic manager who has been proven in every league in Europe nearly, and they have to allow him to do his job methodically over the next two to three years, get it right.

“There has been some poor management, some poor recruitment decisions and there have been players signed who are not Manchester United players. I am not talking about talent, I am talking about profile.

“Pogba and [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic are more Manchester United players in my mind in terms of personality and the physical aspect, so I do think ultimately Mourinho is on the right track in terms of recruitment.

“They have got to continue to do that and they have got to move away some of the previous, which will be difficult because they are on big contracts, but he doesn’t panic in the transfer market.”

Neville added: “I have to say when I look at United I still don’t know what their best XI is. Mourinho is still early in his reign, he is identifying his best players, his best XI, his best partnerships.

“To be fair, United have to trust him and will trust him to get it right over the next couple of transfer windows, because if you look at their midfield, they have Pogba, [Morgan] Schneiderlin and [Marouane] Fellaini; that is £170 million spent on central midfielders in the last three years and I still don’t know which is the best pairing. Mourinho has got to try and build a pair or replace them.

“There is a lot of work to do for United, but as a United fan I am not alarmed. I thought that they would be better at the start of the season. Maybe that was a thought of Mourinho having a massive impact, but when you look at it today, that’s not a Jose Mourinho team at all.

“He has got to work with them, he’s got to get more out of them. He can’t do anything over the next three months and it will be difficult in January.”

Clinical Chelsea leave Mourinho’s Manchester United reeling

The numbers from Sunday’s match suggested the Red Devils were in control of their fixture, but a heavy defeat leaves them with more questions to answer

Jose Mourinho’s return to Stamford Bridge did not only prove to be an unhappy one – it verged on embarrassing fo the Manchester United boss, who watched his side suffer a chastening 4-0 defeat at the hands of Chelsea.

Prior to the game there had been speculation he may ‘park the bus’ against his former side, yet Pedro’s goal in the first minute ensured that the Red Devils would have to adopt a more offensive strategy. When Gary Cahill battered home from a corner 20 minutes later, United were forced to play a game they probably would not have wished.

Trailing 2-0, the visiting side were forced to take the initiative and attack. It resulted in them dominating the game statistically, with the Red Devils achieving 56 per cent of possession. This may sound like a positive, yet it invited Chelsea to set counterattacking traps for their guests, and these would be exploited in the second half through Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante.

Perhaps the most interesting statistic shows that United actually outshot their opponents 12 to nine. The quality of these efforts was critical, though. 

One look at the shooting pattern from Mourinho’s men shows that five – that’s nearly half of their total – were taken from a good deal outside the box. Although three of these efforts were on target, they forced Thibaut Courtois into little more than routine saves, highlighting the frustrating time that the visitors were having trying to breakdown Chelsea’s three-man rearguard. 

Those shots that United took from inside the area were not accurate enough – there is a glut of efforts that were fired over the top from close range.

By contrast, Chelsea’s two early goals allowed them to better pick and choose their moments. They might only have attempted nine shots over the course of the game, but all of these were from dangerous areas and all of the four goals they scored came from well inside the box. 

Indeed, the Blues’ platform meant that they trailed United in every major statistic in the Goal+ matrix with the exception of tackle success rate. Yet it suited Antonio Conte’s side to set up almost like the away team, and the luxury of scoring twice in the first quarter of the match allowed them to do just that.

Mourinho was forced into playing a game that was more expansive than he would have wished, and his players failed to come up with the answers.

All stats featured in the article came courtesy of the Goal+ app, exclusive to Samsung devices. Download the most cutting edge football app now!

'Ibrahimovic just not good enough for Man Utd – he plays like an old man'

The former Red Devils player did not hold back in his analysis of Sunday’s 4-0 defeat to Chelsea, highlighting their striker and back line as the weaker areas

Manchester United are “a million miles away from being good” and are hindered by a Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who “plays like an old man”, according to former defender Gordon McQueen.

What Mourinho must do to stop Man Utd rot

The Red Devils were trounced 4-0 by Chelsea on Sunday, as manager Jose Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge for the first time since he was sacked during last season.

The loss follows uninspiring draws with Liverpool and Stoke City in the league, leaving United seventh in the table and six points behind leaders Manchester City.

And McQueen, who spent seven years at Old Trafford and won the FA Cup with United, is ashamed by the current side’s performances and feels their top scorer is culpable despite his six goals in all competitions.

“Ibrahimovic has done nothing so far and looks very poor. He looks like an old man playing football,” he said.

“He might have got 50-odd goals in France last season, but it’s an inferior league to the Premier League and he is proving it this season.

“There is nothing like our league for pace and intensity, and he is finding it out the hard way.

“Of course, it would help if he got some good crosses from the wings, but he’s not making the most of the chances he does get and doesn’t seem able to find that yard of space where it really counts.

“It is not a lack of effort, I wouldn’t accuse any Manchester United of that, I just think he is not good enough, it’s as simple as that.

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“There is no chance of him getting 30 goals this season. He will do well to reach double figures the way things are going.

“He scored a few at the start of the season, but it’s gone quiet for him and he isn’t able to bully Premier League defences as he could in France and elsewhere.”

But McQueen feels there are more issues to Mourinho’s team than the 35-year-old Ibrahimovic.

“It is not just the defence, it is the whole team. They are a million miles away from being a good team,” he added.

“They went a stupid goal behind after 30 seconds and it spooked them. They never recovered their composure after that.

“United teams of old would have regrouped, but this lot are not good enough to do it.

“It is a shadow of the defence that had Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic at its core. He brought in Eric Bailly, who has done okay, but no better than that. Mourinho can’t trust a settled defence because he doesn’t have reliable defenders who can do a job week in, week out.

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“All Mourinho can do is hope that he can stay in touch with the leaders. What we’ve seen so far that might be a big ask.”

Sunday’s loss adds to United’s misery against big sides this term, having already lost to Man City and drawn with Liverpool.

“They are getting shown up because they are not good enough,” former Scotland international McQueen explains. “They got a point at Liverpool and it was a good defensive performance, but they always carry a goal threat at Anfield and I didn’t see too much of that. It seems we can’t get it right at both ends, particularly against our big rivals.”

Ex-Man Utd star hammers Pogba & Herrera for 'absolutely scandalous' defending

Former Red Devils player Phil Neville was unimpressed with the duo for their part in Chelsea’s fourth goal at Stamford Bridge, with Chris Smalling also receiving criticism

Phil Neville has slammed the defensive efforts of Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera, singling them out for their role in Chelsea’s fourth goal in Sunday’s Premier League clash.

Antonio Conte’s Blues ran out comfortable 4-0 winners, with N’Golo Kante sealing the victory with a solo goal after 70 minutes.

Four things Mourinho must do to fix Man Utd

Both Herrera and Pogba struggled to track the run of France international Kante and Neville could not believe how easy it was for the 25-year-old to race through and score.

He told BBC Sport: “For the fourth goal… Herrera and Pogba there, I think it’s absolutely scandalous.

“The way Kante runs in behind Pogba – Herrera can see the run as well but doesn’t track him – then he’s one-on-one with [Chris] Smalling and it’s just too easy. He shouldn’t be allowed to run in behind Herrera.”

Neville also believes the brunt of the blame shouldn’t sit entirely with Jose Mourinho, insisting that the Portuguese coach can do little to stop individual mistakes.

He added: “The mistakes they made in the game, you can’t legislate for that as a coach.

Why did Mourinho get angry with Conte?

“United had opportunities to get back into the game but ultimately they weren’t good enough and Chelsea were fantastic.

“People have asked what system United are playing and on Monday (the 0-0 draw with Liverpool) I thought they were fantastic.

“They looked like they had a system they were happy with, they were aggressive and they were tight defensively. Today they were anything but.”

Neville slams 'embarrassing' Pogba and Herrera following Chelsea loss

The former Manchester United defender was heavily critical of the midfield duo’s lacklustre performances in the 4-0 Premier League defeat at Stamford Bridge on Sunday

Gary Neville slammed Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera’s “embarrassing” performances in Manchester United’s 4-0 defeat against Chelsea on Sunday.

The stats behind Mourinho’s nightmare start as Man Utd boss

The Red Devils were destroyed at Stamford Bridge as Pedro, Gary Cahill, Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante all found the back of the net for the hosts.

And Neville was heavily critical of the United pair’s defensive efforts after the match on Sky Sports, saying: “It was embarrassing from Pogba and Herrera.

“Kante just walked through them. They are the midfield players.

Mourinho lost Chelsea’s fear factor – now Conte has restored it

“Kante’s just walked through, Hazard’s just walked through. The first goal was just a joke.

“Man United have signed £180million worth of midfielders over the past few years and I still don’t know which is the best pair.”